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Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov [RM]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Feb. 17, 2004

Free Two-day Celebration at Washington-on-the-Brazos

WASHINGTON, Texas — The 168th anniversary of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence will be celebrated Feb. 28-29 at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site during the annual Texas Independence Day Celebration.

Attended by thousands each year, this free two-day celebration brings to life the Republic era of Texas, 1836-1846. The festival is held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days inside the state park.

Visitors will be immersed in the Republic of Texas period through an expanded number of historic re-enactors, period craft demonstrators, musical performers and a black powder gun salute by the Texas Army. An audience-participatory play, “The Convention of 1836,” will premiere at Independence Hall, detailing the events of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

The original handwritten Texas Declaration of Independence on loan from the Texas State Archives and sponsored by First National Bank of Bryan, will be on display at the Star of the Republic Museum. Texas Heroes, a renowned dramatic group, will bring to life notable Texas characters. “Gone to Texas,” a foot-stomping musical will be performed in the Star of the Republic Museum’s theater. The museum will also unveil a new video production “Once a Nation.

At 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 29, Houston TV personality Ron Stone will be the master of ceremonies in a program honoring the heroic Texas pioneers who drafted and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. The keynote speaker will be U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock).

A special dramatic presentation featuring ‘Sam Houston’ will be presented as part of the Sunday ceremonies. The Texas A&M Century Singers, the award winning Blinn College band and the No Foolin’ String Band will provide musical entertainment. Musician KR Woods will also be performing. The celebration will include a Texas-sized birthday cake for all to enjoy.

Visitors to Washington-on-the-Brazos can tour Independence Hall, explore the Star of the Republic Museum, and experience life on an 1850’s farm while visiting Barrington Living History Farm. A variety of regional food vendors will be on site. All admission fees are waived for the event.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is located halfway between Brenham and Navasota on State Hwy. 105, approximately one hour northwest of Houston. Directions and more information are available online (http://www.BirthplaceofTexas.com) or by calling (936)-878-2214 ext. 237 or ext. 224.

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